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About

1600 - 1799

May 27, 1652 - The General Court passed the Massachusetts Bay Mint Act, establishing the only colonial mint. The mint was established in Boston, MA. It is unknown when the mint actually stopped producing coins but it was denied reestablishment by King James II on October 27, 1686.
 
February 3, 1690 - The colony of Massachusetts issued the first government authorized paper money in the Americas.
 
April 29, 1700 -Peter Heyman, the Collector of Customs for the James River, was killed by pirates off Cape Henry, Virginia
.
January 11, 1757 - Alexander Hamilton, the 1st Secretary of the Treasury was born on the West Indian Island of Nevis.
 
March 22, 1765 - Parliament passed the Stamp Act, the first direct tax levied on the colonists. The taxation enraged the colonists and resulted in several protests and boycotts before being repealed.
 
October 7, 1765 - The Stamp Act Congress met in New York City. The declaration of rights that came from the meeting included the idea of no taxation without representation.
 
December 2, 1767 - John Dickinson�s letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania was first printed. The pamphlet spread through the colonies and was even printed in Europe, bringing the colonists problems with the Stamp Act to the attention of the international community.
 
July 19, 1769 - The Rhode Island Militia sank the British ship HMS Liberty off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. This was the first major act of defiance by colonists against the British taxation, which eventually sparked the American Revolution.
 

April 12, 1770 - The Townshend Acts, a set of taxes on the importation of glass, paper and paint, were repealed by Parliament. The tax on the importation of tea was kept.

June 10, 1772 - At dawn, the HMS Gaspee was burned off the coast of Rhode Island for attempting to enforce the Stamp Act. The ship ran aground the day before attempting to apprehend a smuggler and was an easy target for angry Rhode Islanders.
 
December 16, 1773 - The Boston Tea Party occurred. Boston residents were angered that the repeal of the Stamp Act failed to repeal the tax on tea.
 
August 25, 1774 - The North Carolina convention resolved to boycott British tea and cloth until the tax levied by Parliament had been removed.
 
September 5, 1774 - The First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
June 22, 1775 - The Continental Congress ordered the first issue of Continental Currency. Two million dollars worth of notes were issued and they were backed by an
equal amount of Spanish gold and silver coins.
 
July 18, 1775 - The Continental Congress recommended that every colony form companies of militia made up of men aged 16 to 50. They also asked that � of the militia companies be minutemen. Minutemen were soldiers that could be ready for battle in a minutes notice and were meant to be able to quickly respond to any threat. Minutemen companies were largely made up of the younger and more mobile members of the militia.
 
July 21, 1775 - The Continental Congress appointed a committee of three men to supervise the printing of two million dollars in currency in Philadelphia.
 
July 29, 1775 - The Continental Congress appointed Michael Hillegas and George Clymer joint treasurers of the �United Colonies�.
 
November 6, 1775 - The Continental Congress appointed a committee to examine the amount of money remaining in the Treasury and estimate the public debt. The committee was one of several established by Congress to handle different phases of the revolutionary government�s finances.
 
February 17, 1776 - The Continental Congress provided for a standing committee of five to superintend the Treasury Department. The Committee was referred to by various names, including Board of Treasury and Treasury Office of Accounts.
 
April 1, 1776 - The Continental Congress created an Office of Accounts to be headed by an Auditor General as an expansion of the Standing Committee of the Treasury.
 
June 11, 1776 - Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston were the men chosen.
 
July 4, 1776 - The Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.
 
October 3, 1776 - The first domestic loan occurred when the Continental Congress authorized the Treasury Board�s request to borrow $5 million to help finance the Revolutionary War.
 
October 17, 1776 - The Continental Congress ordered that a committee be formed to find a way to better regulate the Treasury Board.
 
February 20, 1777 - A Congressional committee recommended the establishment of A mint. the Treasury Board was tasked to plan and regulate the Mint and its devices to be stamped on the coins. no follow-up action was taken at the time.
 
September 10, 1777 - The Continental Congress appointed a committee to prepare recommendations for each state about taxation for the war effort, including estimated quotas of taxes per state.
 
September 27, 1777 - The Continental Congress, meeting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania after fleeing Philadelphia which had fallen to the British, ordered that the Treasurer of the United States should move with Congress to York, Pennsylvania.
 
February 6, 1778 - The Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed by the United States and France in Paris. It recognized the United States as an independent nation and encouraged trade between France and the colonies. France was the first nation to recognize the independence of the 13 Colonies.
 
May 4, 1778 - The Treaty of Amity and Commerce and The Treaty of Alliance, Eventual and Defensive, were ratified. In the commerce treaty, France recognized the United States as an independent nation and encouraged trade between the two. The alliance guaranteed French entry into the Revolutionary War and stipulated that there would be no peace with Great Britain unless both countries agreed to it
 
September 19, 1778 - The Committee on Finance of the Continental Congress presented the first national budget.
 
September 26, 1778 - The Treasury System was reorganized by the Continental Congress, creating an Auditor, Office of Comptroller, Office of Treasurer and two Chambers of Accounts. A committee was also selected to design the Seal of the Treasury.
 
November 27, 1778 - The Carlisle Peace Commission conceded failure and returned to England. The commission had hoped to reach a peaceful agreement with the United States before France entered the war.
 
February 11, 1779 - The Continental Congress ordered that the office of Secretary of the Treasury be created and that the holder of the office be paid $2000 a year. The position was abolished by July of 1779.
 
June 2, 1779 - The Continental Congress authorized the Board of the Treasury to sign continental bills of credit. Bills of credit were backed by nothing more than a promise by the United States to be paid back at some point in time.
 
November 29, 1779 - The Continental Congress authorized a final issue of currency. The money was later so worthless that it gave rise to the phrase �not worth a Continental.�
 
November 24, 1780 - A Congressional Committee reported that the Treasury needed to be reorganized under a single officer who was accountable to Congress.
 
February 7, 1781 - The Continental Congress established the Office of the Superintendent of Finance, the precursor to the Secretary of the Treasury.
 
February 20, 1781 - The Continental Congress unanimously elected Robert Morris to the newly created position of Superintendent of Finance. He served until November 1, 1784.
 
March 1, 1781 - The Articles of Confederation were ratified, forming the first United States government. The Articles failed to provide Congress with the ability to levy taxes.
 
September 7, 1781 - The Continental Congress assigned the duties of Agent of Marine to the Superintendent of Finance.
 
October 23, 1781 - The Continental Congress authorized the Superintendent of Finance to correspond with United States foreign ministers on matters relating to the treasury.
 
December 3, 1781 - The Continental Congress authorized the Superintendent of Finance to spend money obtained from Europe.
 
January 15, 1782 - Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris asked for the authority to establish a mint in a report to Congress. Congress gave Morris permission but interest waned and nothing was done until April of 1792.
 
May 7, 1782 - The Continental Congress authorized the Superintendent of Finance to appoint inspectors for the army to report fraud and make sure soldiers serving in the Revolutionary War were getting what they needed.
 
June 20, 1782 - The Continental Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States.
 
September 16, 1782 - The Great Seal of the United States was imprinted onto a document for the first time.
 
November 30, 1782 - The United States and Great Britain signed the preliminary articles of peace.
 
May 28, 1784 - The Continental Congress established the Board of Treasury, designing it to replace the position of Superintendent of Finance. The Board, made up of three men, was given the powers of the Superintendent in November 1784 and ran the Treasury until 1789.
 
July 6, 1785 - The Continental Congress unanimously chose the dollar as the money unit for the United States. They also adopted a decimal coinage system, although this did not have any practical meaning until the passage of the Mint Act of 1792 because there were no coins.
 
August 19, 1785 - The Continental Congress ordered that the Board of Treasury fix standards of weights and measures for the United States.
 
December 28, 1785 - Congress authorized the Board of the Treasury to investigate the conduct of all Treasury Department officers.
 
October 13, 1786 - Congress authorized a board to settle debt from the war between the United States government and the individual states.
 
October 16, 1786 - Congress authorized the creation of a mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
May 25, 1787 - The Constitutional Convention opened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
March 4, 1789 - The first Congress of the United States convened in New York, technically marking the beginning of government under the Constitution. In reality, no government business was attended to until April 1, 1789 in the House of Representatives and April 6, 1789 in the Senate. The delay was due to members of the southern states requiring time to travel.
 
April 11, 1789 - Manufacturers and tradesmen from Baltimore, Maryland petitioned the first Congress for a protective tariff.
 
April 30, 1789 - George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States on Wall Street in New York City.
 
July 20, 1789 -  An Act of Congress imposed duties on tonnage, charging ships between six and 50 cents per ton depending on their ownership and use.
 
July 31, 1789 - The Fifth Act of Congress established the United States Customs Service.
 
August 1, 1789 - The Tariff Act of 1789 went into effect. It established a policy of protectionism, which is an economic policy that discourages imports and foreign takeovers of domestic companies to protect the domestic economy.
 
September 2, 1789 - President Washington approved of Congress� proposal to create the Department of the Treasury. The Treasury Department is the second oldest department in the federal government.
 
September 11, 1789 - Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the 1st Secretary of the Treasury.
 
September 13, 1789 - The United States government takes out a loan for the first time. The loan was taken from banks in New York City.
 
September 22, 1789 - Congress established the Postal Service, initially requiring the first Postmaster General to report to the President through the Secretary of the Treasury.
 
September 25, 1789 - The Bill of Rights, at the time composed of 12 Amendments to the Constitution, was passed by Congress and sent to the state legislatures for ratification. The second of the original 12 Amendments became the 27th Amendment over 200 years later on May 5, 1992.
 
January 8, 1790 -  President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address. Among other things, Washington asked Congress to develop a uniform currency.
 
January 9, 1790 - Alexander Hamilton , the 1st Secretary of the Treasury, submitted his First Report on Public Credit advocating assuming state debt. Southerners, specifically Jefferson and Madison, were heavily opposed to the idea. Hamilton placated them by agreeing to support putting the Capital on the Potomac River in exchange for passing his assumption plan.
 
June 8, 1790 - The Temporary Loan of 1789 was repaid. The loan was the first governmental debt under the Constitution.
 
July 26, 1790 - Secretary Alexander Hamilton�s plan detailed in his First Report on Public Credit narrowly passed in Congress. Hamilton finally secured the votes needed by using his influence to encourage the placement of the permanent capital on the Potomac River. In return, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison supported Hamilton�s plan.
 
August 4, 1790 - Congress authorized the first U.S. government securities.
 
December 14, 1790 - Secretary Hamilton�s submitted his Report on a National Bank to Congress.
 
January 28, 1791 - Alexander Hamilton submitted his Mint Report to the Congress. The report gave results of the U.S. Government's first financial survey on the silver content of the Spanish dollar.
 
February 10, 1791 - Alexander Hamilton reported to the House of Representatives on trade with China and India.
 
February 25, 1791 - The Bank of the United States received its first charter.
 
March 3, 1791 - The Revenue Act of 1791 established the first system of internal taxation in the United States. It imposed an excise tax on distilled liquors and was called the �whiskey tax.�
 
November 26, 1791 - President Washington met with the heads of various departments. It was the first meeting of the president�s cabinet.
 
December 12, 1791 - The First Bank of the United States opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
April 2, 1792 - An Act of Congress established the first United States Mint facility in
Philadelphia and established the U.S. legal tender system, ordering the creation of gold, silver and copper coinage ranging in value from $10 to half of a penny. It also ordered the eagle design on United States coins.
 
May 8, 1792 - A Commissioner of the Revenue was created to supervise the collection of taxes. It was abolished in 1802 and briefly revived from 1813 to 1817.
 
July 31, 1792 - David Rittenhouse, the 1st Director of the United States Mint, laid the cornerstone for the Philadelphia Mint.
 
November 6, 1792 - President Washington declared an end to the coin shortage with the striking of the first half-dime coins.
 
January 7, 1793 - A "Dog of the Yard" was purchased for $3 by the United States Mint as protection. His name was Nero and he was the first of several dogs that kept guard at the Philadelphia Mint over the next quarter-century.
 
February 9, 1793 - Congress established the value of certain foreign coins as legal tender in the United States.
 
July 20, 1793 - Approximately 7,000 half-cent coins were produced by the mint, the first of their kind.
 
August 7, 1794 - President Washington called up the militia in response to the Whiskey Rebellion. Washington would later lead 13,000 men to Western Pennsylvania, an act that would confirm the supremacy of federal laws in the states.
 
January 15, 1795 - Alexander Hamilton published his Second Report on Public Credit.
 
Janu ary 31, 1795 - Alexander Hamilton resigned, ending his term as the 1st Secretary of the Treasury.
 
July 31, 1795 - The first gold coins, consisting of 744 half-eagles, were delivered for circulation.
 
September 22, 1795 - The first $10 gold eagle coins were minted.
 
October 10, 1795 - The first two women were employed by the United States Mint as adjusters.
 
April 28, 1796 - An Act of Congress provided for the support of public credit and the redemption of public debt.
 
May 6, 1796 - An Act of Congress authorized a loan for the establishment of the seat of government in Washington, D.C.
 
September 21, 1796 - The first quarter eagle gold coins were minted. They were called quarter eagles because they were worth one quarter of the value of the $10 eagle coin.
 
July 14, 1798 - The first direct federal tax on states was levied by Congress on dwellings, land and slaves. 
 
Last Updated: 11/13/2010 8:19 PM

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